Friday, February 22, 2008

What the critics are saying . . .

. . . about:

Il Fiasco (5101 N. Clark St., 773-769-9700). "(New chef Eric Aubriot) hasn’t overhauled the menu by any means, but his presence can be felt in every section of it. His rich, twice-baked Gorgonzola soufflĂ© was in a different class from other appetizers offered (many of which Aubriot kept from the previous menu): The cheese was balanced by red wine–poached pears, and the dish had a bigger flavor—and was more sophisticated—than its peers. His crisp corn cakes, topped with a mushroom sauce that had a robust earthiness (a flavor that was missing when I tried the mushroom pizza back in August), similarly impressed. And though it was odd to see french fries listed under appetizers, they showed off Aubriot’s years of experience; he only lightly seasoned them with truffle oil, so you won’t smell like a forest all night but you will remember why truffle oil became big in the first place."—David Tamarkin (Time Out Chicago) Read it all here.

Rockwell Lounge (710 N. Clark St., 312-787-2675). "The old Narcisse space has gone all dark slate, moody blues and sheet metal. The front area houses a cordoned-off seating area while the bar sports two stripper poles and a catwalk for drink-ordering entertainment. Downstairs features much of the same paired-down and muted cool-tone decor, with more modular seating and an additional, pole-free bar. The crowd falls somewhere between those who frequent the neighborhood's ultra-lounges and folks who appreciate Chicago's grittier rock joints."—Fred Schlatter (Chicago CitySearch) Read it all here.

Stretch Run Sports Club & Grille (544 N. LaSalle St., 312-644-4477). "Either barbecue ribs ($8.95) or hot wings ($8.95) will add some life to your meal. A layer of Sweet Baby Ray's sauce coats meaty, tender ribs; sizzling hot sauce blankets the wings. The latter arrive with the usual celery sticks and choice of blue cheese or ranch dressing."—Laura Bianchi (Crain's Chicago Business) Read it all here.

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